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House Passes Compromise Tax Cut Bill

Aired May 26, 2001 - 10:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS CNN ANCHOR: We have news that the House has just voted to pass the compromise tax cut bill. We're going to go right to Kelly Wallace, who's live at the White House to tell us more about what this means -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, we are watching it with you as well. We see that right now 225 House lawmakers have voted for this, 143 against it, and obviously about 60- some odd other lawmakers still have to vote. The interesting number to look at is the number of Democrats. I believe, looking from my screen, it looks to be 23, I think it is, Democrats have voted for this plan.

I believe some lawmakers have said they hoped to get as many as 40 Democrats to support this. They're saying -- these Republican lawmakers -- saying this would show that it is truly a bipartisan tax bill. What will happen from here is Senate lawmakers coming in, both House and Senate, taking part in rare Memorial Day weekend sessions here. Senate lawmakers expected to come in.

Also, the Senate expected to pass this $1.35 trillion tax cut plan. It looks like about 10 to 12 Democratic senators are likely to vote with all Republicans to support this. Then it makes its way to President Bush's desk. Mr. Bush had said he wanted a tax bill on his desk by Memorial Day but, Kyra, it looks like he won't sign this bill probably until the week of June 5, and that is because all these lawmakers, as soon as they finish voting, they are heading out of town for their Memorial Day recess.

The President's chief of staff, Andrew Card, saying that Mr. Bush wanted to have some of these Democratic and Republican lawmakers who helped make this bill possible to be around him, so he will have a signing ceremony early in June.

Obviously, tremendous Republican support, and some Democratic support here, but we heard a number of Democratic lawmakers coming to the House floor today concerned that this plan is too big, saying it benefits the wealthy much too much. Concerned, also, that it would lead to deficits of the 1980's, and that it wouldn't do enough to protect Social Security and Medicare.

And the big thing, Kyra, which certainly the Republicans and the White House are putting out, saying this will give a much-needed boost to the economy. Refund checks will be coming out in the mail as early as this summer. Individuals should be getting about $300 in the mail by August or September, married couples about $600, and then all income tax brackets will be reduced over time by 2006.

So all taxpayers should see less money coming out of their paychecks as early as this summer -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Kelly Wallace, thanks so much. And we are waiting for 48 more -- now down to 46, seeing what they are going to do. Right now, yea, 237, nay, 150. The House -- and we are going -- the Senate, we are told has convened to take up this measure and we will continue to follow this and bring you results from there when it happens.

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